tv The Stream Al Jazeera September 16, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT
welcome to al jazeera, i'm john siegenthaler. we have special coverage tonight of the shootings at the navy yard in washington, d.c. "stream" will be back tomorrow night. here are the stories. thirteen people are dead after a gunman goes on a rampage. the motive, still a mystery. authorities have id-ed a full-time navy reservist, aaron alexis as the shooter. he is among the 12 people dead. un inspectors say they now
have clear and convincing evidence that sarin gas was used in last month's attack in syria. it happened this morning as 3,000 people were headed to work at the navy yard in washington, d.c. suddenly there was gunfire, and when the shooting stopped 13 people were dead including the shooter. it took place at a building known as 197. police are still on the manhunt in washington tonight, searching for possible second suspect in this morning's shooting. mike viqueira joins us live. mike? >> we're going on 12 hours ago since this drama unfolded. it precipitated a massive response from the whole alpha bet soup of police agencies. all descending on this site here, home to 3,000 employees,
200 years old in the heart of the nation's capitol. many barricaded themselves into the office, others simply ran. out of the confusion and chaos, emerged one gruesome, grim detail, 13 dead, including the shooter. >> we can confirm that the deceased shooter from this morning has been identified as 34-year-old aaron alexis of fort worth, texas. we have posted photographs of mr. alexis on our website, fbi.gov, and we ask anyone with information about him to contact us at 1-800-call-fbi. no piece of information is too small. we are looking to learn everybody we can about him. >> at a certain point this
afternoon, john, employees began to stream out down m street here towards the media. we all approached them asking about their experience, what they saw and heard. they were told not to speak with us, a few of them actually said that to us. others simply kept walking by. but there was one individual who described convening an 8:00 meeting this morning with his team. >> we had heard the previous gunshots, and we heard gunfire and we looked up, and there were two bullet holes in the top of the wall of the conference room. it was maybe an inch or two down from where the ceiling meets the wall. >> at this hour, john, details are still really rather sketchy, but we do know that there were at least 12 individuals wounded. two of those were treated up
down about 12 miles north of here. among them a d.c. metropolitan police officer. he was grefously injured in his lower extremities, but has one wish for hospital personnel before going into surgery. >> all three of the victims came in talking. they came in. they were speaking from the get-go. i have actually personally talked to all three of them. the police officer when he came in, he was most concerned about being able to talk to his mother, and wanted to make sure that he was able to speak to her before he went into surgery. >> and john, a visibly shaken secretary of the navy came by this location after visiting the scene about two hours ago. he told us this is heart breaking. the navy is a family, they will come together and get through this, john.
>> mike, thank you. dozens of police and emergency vehicles quickly surrounded the complex at the time of the shooting, employees inside the building were told to stay there, and later they werest courted out by police. >> somebody said this is not a fire alarm, so we started trying to get people out of the building, and we saw him, and he aimed his gun at us and then fired at two or three shots. and we ran downstairs to get out of the building, and there were still shots in the building. >> i heard a woman running down screaming there is a shooter, get out of the building. and almost at the same time i heard multiple gunshots and there was a colleague of mine, and once we heard that, we went
straight for an office, and then we went by a -- [ technical difficulties ] -- and then i took off and -- and ran across the building, and i heard multiple shots going off, and kept going. >> many of the 3,000 service members, civilians and contractors could be seen leaving the facility after the shooting stopped. our heidi joe castro is in fort worth, texas tonight, the home of aaron alexis. heidi what do we know about this man? >> john, we know that aaron alexis had very close ties to this restaurant behind me. not only was he a waiter here, but he lived with the restaurant owner for three years. the owner was questioned by authorities earlier this afternoon, but before that, he told us that he thought of aaron
alexis as his best friend. he described alexis as a gentle person who was nice to everyone who liked to get into deep conversations, but he said too, that his friend often carried his gun to work. here is more of what he said about alexis. >> i kind of opened up the restaurant, and he asked me -- i can help you. i don't have anything to do right and i'm like okay. if you want to help me. that's why he became close friends, and stayed in the same house for almost like three years. so we become friends since then. >> now it appears in alexis made close relationship not only with tom, but also a michael, who is a handyman here at this restaurant, and he told us of the conversations he would have with alexis, oftentimes focusing
on a debate between the merits of christianity and buddhism. he said it was strange that a 34-year-old man would be so abscessed, in his words, with playing violent video games. >> aaron seemed like a really nice guy. the only negative thing i could say is he played video games all the time, and i used to joke with him, man, you are 34 years old, and you play games all the time online. but that's what he liked to do. >> he said he was shocked when he learned that this friend of his, aaron alexis was the shooter today, but he says in retrospect, he remembers one of the last conversations he had that now looks strange.
he said alexis said he was frustrated with the military contractor he was employed by because he wasn't getting all of his salary. we know alexis had gone to work for the contractor in japan, and leaving in november of last year, and when he returned here to fort hood he was having financial troubles, and didn't have a car, a month later that's what lead him moving to washington, d.c. to take the job there, john? >> highdy, thank you. with us is al jazeera's security contributor, j.j. green. j.j. what about security, how is it that something like this could happen where someone could get in and do what aaron alexis apparently did? >> well, john, as you know in washington and at all military facilities around the world, there are thousands of people every day that stream into these
facilities. many of them have relationships with the guards, many of them have understoodings of how the system works, and some of them take advantage of it. that's the bottom line on this. when you go to the pentagon and many facilities, you have to scan your badge in to get in, but in some places you have to actually pass a guard who has to actually get eyes on that badge, make sure the picture matches the face, make sure that the date matches the time frame that the badge is being used. there are a lot of concerns considering the number of people -- there's a lot of people in the military and intelligence community that go into these bases. there are civilians that go in there, so there are always opportunities for this kind of thing to happen. this is just one of those unfortunate moments where something like this slips through the cracks, and i can tell you for sure that security
officials are looking very closely at how this took place today. >> how would you see the military changing security in light of this? >> one thing that is very clear about this particular situation is the need to -- and i'm thinking -- they need to make sure that when someone is -- is -- is separated from a service or when there is an action that's taken, which is what i'm told was a part of this process, that needs to be reflected in their security profile, and the folks who are in charge of security need to know it, and need to take some steps to make sure that that's -- that's recognized, and that people who are in a situation where they represent a threat to the base or a facility or building or a population that's in a military facility have to be essentially exposed as that threat, and it's not clear if that was the case here, or even if it was the case, it's not clear that would have worked
here. so they have to take a very hard look at their security profile to see what more needs to be done, because we have a lot of people out there these days that study security profiles and study how to beat them. >> so what you are saying is if he had gotten in any trouble or had any sort of warning flag, his security should have been tougher? >> i'm thinking that people who have issues that are reflected on their official records as he had -- there were a couple of situations. he had gotten in trouble in seattle. he had gotten in trouble in texas as well, i believe. there are situations where typically in most workplaces if you engage in something like that, either you are fired or you are on probation. there is certainly an eye kept on you, and again, there are so many people that flow through security facilities, there may not be the opportunity to do that effectively, especially
considering some of them have access to permits that may give the personnel in security that it's okay to let these people in. >> how would you compare this to fort hood? >> one source early this morning texted me and said fort hood part two. i have no knowledge of what it is that drove this particular individual to engage in this particular shooting, but i now that it's -- the outcome is very similar. the grief is almost exactly the same. the stunned nature of people in the community is exactly the same, and the reason the call -- the reason that people are calling now for a closer look at security is almost exactly the same as fort hood. people thought this was a place where you have a very safe environment, considering what it was, and what it represented,
but at the same time it also shows there are vulnerabilities in any community, and almost mirrors the exact same situation as in fort hood. >> a sign of the tragedy that happened in washington tonight is the flag at half mass just behind you at the white house. j.j. green thank you very much. this morning president obama was scheduled to talk to the nation about the economy, but he began by speaking about the deadly events at the d.c. naval yard. >> we are confronting yet another mass shooting. this was shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. these are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us. they are patriots, and they know the dangers of serving aboard, but today they face the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at
home. >> and moving to the middle east now, there is new pressure on syria to remove its chemical weapons stockpile. after a united nations investigation concluded that sarin gas was used in an attack near damascus last month. the attack killed more than a thousand people. the un calls the evidence clear and convincing. john is at the united nations headquarters tonight. john what are the le lead -- headlines out of this report. >> they got the chance to put pen to paper and publish their report, and it was a pretty complete and damming report. very, very detailed. there was a two and a half hour meeting at the security council here attended by ban ki-moon who afterwards told reporters, the report, was, quote, a chilling
read. >> 85% of the blood samples tested positive for sarin. the majority of the environmental samples confirmed the use of sarin. a majority of the rockets or rockets fragments recovered were found to contain sarin. the findings are beyond doubt, and beyond appeal. this is a war crime, and grave violation of the 1925 protocol, and other rules of international law. >> so that's it. the report is clear, sarin gas was used in syria on the 21st of august. the report did not apportion any blame. that was not the mandate of the inspectors. cleverly what they have said is that the gas was delivered using surface to surface rockets, and when they examined the wreckage
of those rockets, they could find sarin gas trace on them. that is another way, without actually saying it, john, of pointing the finger of blame at the syrian government. >> john, how soon would the un security council vote on a resolution. >> what you have to understand -- i know a lot of americans don't have time for the security council or the un, but the meeting between the russians and americans is, i'm afraid not good enough to take things forward. these are two very, very important countries, ours and russia, but to take it formal, you would have to take it from a framework agreement into a security council. al jazeera they are going to understand they are going to try to push for a much swifter response, but next week is the
meeting of the general assembly. so we're looking for a swift resolution to be drawn up, and hopefully voted on before the ebb of the week, however, russia saying it doesn't want to ally in that resolution that talks about the use of force. so already with a week to go, potentially, there is a big red flag hanging over a potential resolution. john? >> how will this impact the obama administration's plans? >> it's too early to say. the syrians once again hold all of the cars on this. if the syrians don't do what they are supposed to do, and reveal all of their stockpile of chemical weapons by next weekend, then obama is going to look like he has been played. on the other hand now that this report has come out, a lot of other countries are likely to
fall behind the united states in favor of a potential attack on syria. so that is why the obama administration and the brits and the french, the three key allies on the security council are determined to keep up some kind of pressure on syria with the promise of use of force if they don't do what they have promised to do. >> john terrett thank you very much. air and rescue efforts are back underway on the flood in colorado. authorities are trying to reach hundreds of stranded residents. and president obama looks to refocus on the economy with a warning to republicans in congress. that's just ahead. sachin asked the indian media not to put too much pleasure pressure on the teenager. >> my son started his career.
it's a humble request if he can live his life like a normal 14-year-old without thinking of anything other than falling in love with the sport. (applause) >> some footsteps to follow in. more on the website. check it out. all the details. get in touch with us on twitter and facebook. plenty more from me later, but that is the sport for now. >> thank you. stay with us on al jazeera. another full bulletin of news is ahead with julie mcdonald, who will be in london for us. for now, goodbye. there's more to financial news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, can fracking change what you pay for water each month? have you thought about how climate change can affect your grocery bill?
welcome back to al jazeera, i'm john siegenthaler. as he marked the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis, president obama praised his administration's response to the meltdown, and said the economy is still improving, but he also issued a tough warning to republicans who have threatened to vote against spending or raising the nation's debt ceiling under obama administration is rolled back. >> are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they are willing to tank the entire economy? just because they didn't get their way on this issue? are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points? i cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can't get 100% of what it wants.
>> the president is urging congress to pass a new federal budget without drama, and he again said he will not negotiate with lawmakering over the raising of the country's debt ceiling. seven people are dead, hundreds missing, and thousands of homes have been destroyed in colorado. clearer skies have enabled rescue workers to kick back up again. nearly 1800 people have been rescued from areas with washed out roads. the flood zone covers an area nearly the size of delaware. jim hooley is in rural weld county, one of the hardest hit. these floods must have been wreaking havoc for farmers in weld county as well. >> reporter: yeah, as you can
imagine, and this is the worst time for some of this to happen. take a look at the scene behind me. these should be fields filled with crops, but now they are washed out. the cost for the farmers will be into the millions. they are hoping some of the better weather will dry things out. but as you said the rescues continue to go on here today. people still trapped in the foothills of colorado. 19,000 homes -- this is some of these latest numbers -- >> 19,000 homes damaged, 1500 completely destroyed, and these numbers change each and every hour, but about 1200 still missing. the helicopters were able to get up and search for some of the people that have been missing.
yesterday they were grounded because it continued to rain here yesterday. now the emergency officials are asking if they are still trapped, if they can to get outside of their homes if they hear the helicopter or aviation device whatever the case may be, they are asking those people to get up, get outside, can colorful sheets or reflective mirror, and hold that up to the sky. that would really help some of the emergency officials find those people. the forecast is in the mid-80s tomorrow, and sunshine and drier conditions. that will be a big help for all of the rescue workers. >> all right. jim hooley thank you very much. let's bring in rebecca stephens with more on the weather. >> yes, we certainly do see the worst over in the sheer amount
of rain coming down in showers and thunderstorms. we'll still have them, just not as much rain within them. the problem is, we're watching the crest of the record flooding in the rivers travel downstream and still hit flood levels at record peaks in places downstream towards nebraska. you can see, yeah, there's still some rain showers out, but what happened, the magic combination that brought the flooding last week, starting on tuesday, wednesday, we had heavy showers and thunderstorms coming up from the southwest. there was so much moisture in it, that it felt very humid in colorado. wednesday, and thursday, a lot of folks were on twitter saying the air feels so heavy. it is usually drier here. what happened is all of that moisture dumped up to 21 inches of rain that were measured in someplace in seven days alone.
these are river points where we have high river flow, flooding. i just wanted to show you the bright blue. that's how many areas are flooding all the way down into new mexico, and now we have a new record for the wettest year for boulder. >> rebecca thank you. mexico has been hit hard by twin tropical storm systems. tropical storm manuel caused flood slides and flooding in two pacific-coast states. it has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it is still expected to dump as much as 25-inches of rain in some areas. thunderstorms -- 25 people died when the cruise ship ran aground in italy. they are now trying to slowly
♪ good evening, everyone. welcome to al jazeera, i'm john siegenthaler in new york. >> i feel very lucky to be alive, another guy next to me got shot, i didn't. >> mass shooting in washington. 12 victims are dead, more wounded. tonight reactions from those who saw it, and the clues investigators have that may have triggered it. plus what the fbi knows by aaron alexis. plus the report is in, chemical weapons were used in syria, and the un is not pointing the